Heavy Rain Helps Trash Augusta Landfill Storm Pipe, Giant Sinkho - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Heavy Rain Helps Trash Augusta Landfill Storm Pipe, Giant Sinkhole Forms

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Augusta, GA -

These are emergency repairs at the Augusta Landfill as a lot of rain helped trash an old storm drain pipe.

"One, it's very old infrastructure. It was put in, in '93. As the pipes have settled, they've become oval, they became leaky, and all this rain has washed all the rain out causing a sinkhole," says Landfill Director Mark Johnson.

A giant sinkhole was found last month while fighting a grass fire caused by lightening. The sinkhole wasn't here two weeks ago when the section of old landfill was mowed.

"The hole that we have could hold two city buses...school buses. It's twenty feet deep, forty foot long, probably thirty feet wide, and if we don't get it fixed and it rains, it will just get bigger," says Johnson.

There isn't much left of the pipe flattened by tons of dirt from this sinkhole. The landfill is not going to replace it, it's going to put in a ditch, and all this work, even on top of old garbage, is not going coming cheap.

"We're talking about $750,000 to make the repairs. A storm water pipe failed, it's failed in multiple locations, so now we just have to get in here and get it fixed," says Johnson.

The repair work has started. It will include new concrete pipe going under the one road leading into the landfill, but garbage trucks will still pass.

But, the sink hole is not the only problem at the landfill. Last month, lightning hit a methane gas well, causing it to explode. It's destroyed and will be repaired, but that started the fire that led to the discovery of sinkhole.

So, at the landfill, they've had lightning, fire and rain, and the earth giving way.

"We've had a variety of elements, which makes it just fun to come to work," says Johnson.

Because the sinkhole is exposing some long buried garbage. There are some environmental concerns, so the landfill will work quickly to fill in the giant crater, and finish the surface level drainage ditch. The work should take about thirty days.

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